By Roger Harnack and Matthew Stephens
Whitman County Gazette 

Fires erupt in Spokane and Whitman Counties

At least one dead in Medical Lake blaze; more than 5,000 acres burn near Winona


August 17, 2023

Roger Harnack | Whitman County Gazette

A firefighter is silhouetted by firelight shining through the smoke.

WINONA - Multiple fires exploded Friday afternoon across both Spokane and Whitman Counties, leaving at least one person dead and burning thousands of acres.

Evacuation notices were issued for Medical Lake, Cheney, Four Lakes, Elk, Winona and other places.

The larger fires were reported in Medical Lake and Elk, both in Spokane County, and Winona, in central Whitman County.

At least one person died and multiple homes were destroyed in the Gray Fire, which broke out about noon near Eastern State Hospital, burning in dry grass, timber and wheat in Medical Lake.

The fast-moving blaze quickly spr...

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